Three female fleet leaders and three female company drivers were appointed Monday to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB).
The 16-member, all-female group will coordinate with trucking companies, nonprofit organizations, and trucking associations to support women in trucking.
The Board will provide recommendations to the FMCSA Administrator and the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, as well as tackle many issues, including evaluating barriers and trends that impact women in trucking across the country and ways to support women pursuing careers in trucking; identifying opportunities to expand roles for women and increase the number of women in the trucking industry; advising on policies that provide education, training, mentorship, or outreach to women in the trucking industry; and reviewing opportunities to enhance safety, training, mentorship, and education for women in the trucking industry.
Fleet leadership joining the board include Laura Duryea, Boyle Transportation's manager of recruiting, retention, and driver development; Soledad Munoz Smith, vice president of operations at Munoz Trucking, a minority family-owned 133-truck business in El Paso, Texas; and Amazon's Director of Transportation Marie Druckenmiller. Company drivers include Emily Plummer from Prime Inc., where she also serves as a driver trainer; Kellylynn McLaughlin, of Schneider National, where she too is driver trainer; and J.B. Hunt Intermodal Driver and mentor Marquita Jones.
"America needs truck drivers like never before, yet women – half the American people – have long been underestimated and underrepresented behind the wheel and in jobs across this sector," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "Getting to know women in trucking, I have heard about their passion for the job as well as the challenges they face, and this experienced Women in Trucking Advisory Board will help us address these issues directly."
Members represent 11 states and a mix of small, medium, and large trucking companies, independent owner-operators, non-profit organizations, trucking associations and higher education institutions. Collectively, WOTAB members have more than 80 years of driving experience with trucks, motorcoaches, and ports and more than 275 years in trucking and other modes of transportation.
WOTAB’s launch was mandated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is part of the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan that is focused on improving job quality and recruiting more people into the truck driving profession. Recruiting and supporting women in transportation is a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.
“Women are significantly underrepresented in the trucking industry, holding only 24% of all transportation jobs,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “We anticipate many great ideas from the advisory board that will help expand equity and safely provide access to careers in trucking for women across the industry.”
Other WOTAB members include Anne Balay, organizer with the Service Employees International Union; Jerri Banks, owner of Life on the Road Recruiting and Transportation Services; Elisabeth Barna, American Trucking Associations executive vice president; owner operator Joyce Brenny, of Brenny Transportation, Inc. and Brenny Specialized, Inc., founder and president; Enjoli DeGrasse, International Brotherhood of Teamsters deputy director; Erin Ducharme, H&L Bloom/Bloom’s Bus Lines CFO; Dianne McNair-Smith, CEO of 3 Girls Trucking Academy; Sharae Moore, founder an president of SHE Trucking Foundation; driver O’Sheauna Parker; and Nicole Ward, co-owner of African American Women in Trucking Association.